Tag Archives: Heaven

A “Heavenly” Question about Colors

10 Feb

I never desire to include off-color humor here. I want to bring honor to God and not be crude or distasteful. Today, I’m offering some COLORFUL clean jokes:

Q: Where do crayons go on vacation? … A: Color-ado.

Q: What kind of berry has a coloring book? … A: A crayon-berry.

Q: What happened when the red ship crashed into the blue ship? … A: The crew was marooned.

Ok, that’s enough. Oh, maybe one more… a riddle.

There were four houses on a street. The red house was made from brick. A purple house was made from brick, and the yellow house was also made from brick. What was the greenhouse made from?

A: Glass!

Did you get it right? LOL.

I used to paint, and it was fun to play around with color. I love to fine-tune color selections. So I’m always touched by videos of people who are completely color-blind. But when they wear amazing special glasses, they weep or are so deeply affected when they see the variety of colors they’ve never seen before.

Here is one heartwarming example of two colorblind brothers who see colors correctly for the first time. And here’s another that explains the struggle of the nearly 300 million people—mostly men—who are colorblind.

We do take color for granted.

I’ve long been fascinated by color, which is one reason I was a color consultant for a couple of years. I loved to study the interplay of colors and skin undertones.

But I think my fascination began in high school. One of my favorite classes was chemistry. As we learned about the elements and their atomic numbers, I studied Chromium (Cr), the element with the atomic number 24.  Although silver in appearance, chromium—when used as a catalyst—created Chromium compounds that are highly valued as pigments for their vivid colors.

But that’s getting too technical … let me keep this post simple.

Though I am not colorblind, I think I have not even begun to see the colors the Creator has made. Lately I’ve been astounded by sunsets in California and I’ve posted on Facebook about them. Amazing colors (like the one you see to the right).

That night I said to my husband, “If it’s so beautiful here sometimes, what must heaven be like?”

I have a question for you:

What color do you think of when you think of heaven?

When I think of heaven, I normally think of “streets of gold” and the glory of God—so I tend to think in terms of brilliant yellows.

But there are other colors mentioned in the Bible in regard to heaven.

Yes, there are “WHITE robes” (Revelation 7:13)—garments made white (pure) by being washed in the blood of the Lamb. (Hmmm… let that color picture sink in for a minute!)

We also see the 24 elders in heaven dressed in white clothes with gold crowns (Revelation 4:4), and Jesus said the righteous will wear white clothes (Revelation 3:4-5, 18).

Beyond white, have you ever noticed that GREEN rainbow around God’s throne? (Revelation 4:3)

And consider the vivid JEWEL tones of the great City, “Jerusalem the Holy” (Revelation 21:10, 12, 18-20). To get just a glimpse of that, imagine all the colors on typical Christmas trees. Now multiply that big time. Imagine the joy!

Here’s an interesting one. Consider all the colors of PEOPLE groups in heaven! (Revelation 7:9) As children we likely sang, “Red and yellow black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

But people are many more colors than that! People are snow white, ivory, cream, buttermilk, beige, tan, golden, amber, sepia, chestnut, chocolate, cocoa, onyx, black—and countless other colors.

The variety of people colors is incredible, and all are beautiful. 

The past few years, I’ve watched with interest the “coloring” phenomenon in Bibles and journaling.

Pam Farrel—my co-author of LOL with God—recently co-authored a Bible study with Jean E. Jones. The book, Discovering Hope in the Psalms, includes a creative artistic aspect. Pam says she colors and draws when she studies scripture, and especially when she memorizes scriptures, because the colors help her “remember.” In other words, they make a big impression in her brain.

Something I’ve only thought about recently: We see colors because we see light. 

The “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeonwrote,

Light is the cause of beauty. That is obvious to you all. Take the light away, and there is no beauty anywhere. The fairest woman charms the eye no more than a heap of ashes when the sun has departed. Your garden may be bright with many colored flowers, but when the sun goes down, you cannot know them from the grass which borders them. You look upon the trees, all fair with the greenness of summer—but when the sun goes down, they are all hung in black.

Without light,” he said, “no radiance flashes from the sapphire, no peaceful ray proceeds from the pearl. There is nothing of beauty left when light is gone. Light is the mother of beauty. In such sense, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the light of Heaven—that is to say, all the beauty of the saints above comes from God incarnate—their excellence, their joy, their triumph, their glory, their ecstatic bliss all spring from Him.” (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Lamb—the Light”)

There will be colors in heaven we can’t even begin to  imagine now.

I think of all the colors in my Ultimate Crayon Collection—152 colors! Yet that is a puny representation of all the colors God has created.

One of my favorite Bible teachers was J. Vernon McGee, who is now seeing the beauty of heaven firsthand. He once said in a program on his Through the Bible radio series,

“What a thing of beauty! Varied hues and tints form a galaxy of rainbow colors. … The New Jerusalem is a city of light and a city of color.”  (J. Vernon McGee, “Homesick for Heaven)

Creation began with “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:1-5), and in that light God made it possible for us to see color.

Imagine the unspeakable joy when we live in our perfected bodies in His presence and see the entire spectrum of His colorful creativity.

“…no mere man has ever seen, heard or even imagined what God has ready for those who love the Lord” (2 Cor. 2:9, LB).

Even as people who are colorblind weep when they see colors for the first time, don’t you think we will weep tears of joy when we see the colors of heaven?

Go outside and take in some of the loveliness of God’s creation today.

All graphics, except sunset, adapted and courtesy of Pixabay.

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No More Memory Lapses

9 Nov

Bert and Maggie were sitting in the living room and Bert asked his wife, “Honey, can you make me a peanut butter sandwich with grape jelly? Be sure you use the grape jelly, not the peach.”

JellyJar_grape2“Sure,” she said. “One slice or two?”

“Two … and make sure you use the grape jelly, not the peach,” he said. “You know how forgetful you are. Write it down.”

“Honey, I don’t need to write it down,” Maggie said. “I will remember – grape jelly, not peach.”

After a while Maggie came out with two scrambled eggs, a bowl of grits, and a cup of coffee. Bert looked at his meal and shook his head, smiling.

“I knew it. I knew it,” he said. “I asked you to write it down, because I knew you would forget the biscuits!”

I laugh at this, even though it’s beginning to hit a little close to home. I am forgetting a lot of things these days!

The closer I get to my final days – hopefully in 20 or 30 years or longer – the more grateful I am that my memory will return in heaven.

Just think:

  • No more, “What was her name again?”
  • No more, “Where did I put those car keys?”
  • No more, “What did I come in this room for?”

In heaven, my body will be perfect. My thinking will be unhindered. My resurrected body will be like Jesus’ body!

“… we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. … Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2).

And what will that body be like? No hunger and thirst (Revelation 7:16a) – even though we will eat and drink (Luke 14:15; 22:18). No death … no sorrow … no crying … no pain (Revelation 21:3-4).

In other words, because we will have glorious, powerful, incorruptible bodies, we will not suffer the ravages of disease or any other conditions of the body that we deal with on earth – none of the things that cause us so much pain and distress here now.

This hit home for me tonight as I visited a dear man, struggling to remember. Everyone at the table was finishing his sentences for him as he searched for words, details, memories.

Traveling home, I thought of all those I love who are suffering from dementia … and some, even the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease. They love Jesus. Right now, they can still speak about Him with clarity. But for how long?

What comforts my heart is knowing God dearly loves each one of them. He will heal them … someday.

Whether it’s the simple “Where are my keys?” or a more devastating question to a spouse:  “Hello, who are you?” – God is our life and hope.

Heaven … think of it. No more memory lapses.

What are you looking forward to in heaven?

— Dawn

The Songs We Will Never Forget

3 Jul

I always feel bad for singers who botch the National Anthem.

AmericanFlagCloseUpIn May, 2013, folk and jazz singer Alexis Normand, a Canadian from Saskatoon, said she only had a few hours to learn America’s National Anthem before she sang at a hockey game. A headline dubbed her butchered rendition the “Star-Mangled Banner.”

But she’s Canadian. Easy to forgive. (The crowd even tried to help her, singing along.)

It’s a tough song to sing with its wide vocal range and potential for a squeaky “land of the fre-e-e-e-e-e-e” at the highest note.

Country musician Luke Bryan was criticized when he read the words to the anthem off his hand at a MLB All-Star game (July, 2012). But Superstar Michael Bolton also had crib notes.

National Anthem word blunders include Cyndi Lauper’s “…as our flag was still streaming;” Christiana Aguilera’s “What so proudly we hailed” (instead of “…we watched”); and Scotty McCreery’s “no Jose can you see.”

If some of these singers weren’t so young, I’d chalk it up to age. (A funny card describes aging as: “Remembering the words to every song from the ‘ 80s, but forgetting why you walked into the next room.”)

While heading in my car toward a lunch engagement, I decided to sing some old hymns of the faith.SingTheWondrousLoveOfJesus

It started well with “How Great Thou Art,” but then I forgot the lyrics of other songs.

The sweet “Fairest Lord Jesus” became “Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature, O thou of God ….mmmmmmmmmmmm… Thee will I cherish, thee will I honor …mmmmmmmm.”

I tried another and destroyed those lyrics too: “Come thou fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace…… mmmmmmmmmmm.” (I knew the words “melodious sonnet” and “I raise my Ebinezer” were somewhere in there. Distracted, I paused to ask, “What’s an Ebinezer?”)

Song after song, words escaped me.

What’s wrong with me? I asked in frustration. I can’t remember all these songs I loved. (The same thing is happening, by the way, with scripture verses I memorized. What we don’t use, we lose!)

Still driving, I started thinking about music in heaven. I knew that singing began in eternity past when the “morning stars” (angels) sang (Job 38:7); and the book of Revelation says there will be singing in heaven.

I wondered, will we all sing the songs of our generations for Jesus? Think about it …

Israel often worshiped God in song (the Songs of Moses and Miriam in Exodus 15:1-21, the Song of Deborah and Barak in Judges 5). The Old Testament saints often sang from their Hebrew Hymnal, the psalms. Will they lead us in these songs? Revelation 15:1-4 tells us the saints of heaven will “sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.”

What is the song of the Lamb? What did the New Testament church sing? Remember faithful Paul and Silas singing in prison (Acts 16:25)? The early Christians considered singing an integral part of their worship (Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16). Will they teach us those songs from the infancy of the church?

I thought about the music of believers through many centuries. Are there songs from the years of persecution? How about the sturdy hymns of Reformation saints?

What about the songs I’ve sung all my life? Will I sing stirring revival hymns in heaven? Gospel tunes? “Bus songs”? Or are all these songs simply for a specific time and place?

As I contemplated the music of heaven, I remembered a scripture verse that begins …

“And they sang a new song….”

Later, I looked up that scripture. It’s part of the Revelation 5 account of the Lamb of God opening a scroll (an official document), acknowledging His Lordship over the entire earth – His right to judge and reign.

Verses 9-10 describe the scene: “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

I’m not sure those are the actual words of the song we’ll sing in heaven. Maybe it’s more the reason for the song.

And what a song that will be! A song of redemption. A testimony of God’s grace. The context of heaven’s powerful songs is worship.

Heaven will resonate with God-centered praises.

God has designed each of us with the capacity to worship. We all worship something or someone.

As I reflect on the songs that most stir my heart to worship God, I long for more songs that are packed with biblical truth (such as the Gettys’ “In Christ Alone”).

David said God put a “new song” in his heart – a song reflecting God’s goodness and grace in rescuing him (see Psalm 40:1-3). Because of the song, he said, “Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.” As we lift up our praises to God – proclaiming what He has done for us in Christ, using the truth of scripture in our songs, and worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness (Psalm 96:9a) – I believe the Spirit of God may draw people to Himself and prepare them to hear the Gospel.

As you meditate on these scriptures, understand that our “new song” of salvation blesses God and invites all of creation to join us in worship.

“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth” (Isaiah 42:10a).

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day” (1 Chronicles 16:23).

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day (Psalm 96:1-2).

“Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works” (Psalm 105:2).

These are the songs we love, and the songs we will never forget.

– Dawn

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